Can Tho Discussion

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52nd Signal Bn

From: Dennis Stroklund
Date: 15 Feb 2000
Time: 01:56:57
Remote Name:


I just happened onto this site tonight and have read through the whole contents. I was headquartered at the CanTho airfield from Nov. 68 to Oct. 69. I was a TTY repairman 31J20. Our BN headquarters were in the Bank Bldg in town. We had a shop in the basement there, also one out at the base in a metal building near the east end. It was just east of the graves registration building and the chapel. I lived in the 2 story barracks closest to the control tower. Our job was to keep all the small Stratcom detachments up and running all over the Delta. I think I have been to about every town in the Delta several times. I was at the Can Tho airfield Jan 13 69 when the VC were walking down the runway, blowing up the choppers one by one. We took up positions on the tower side of the runway that night, expecting that the attack would be an attempt to overrun the field. It turned out that the main goal was to get to the choppers. I have pictures of the Chinooks melted into just a puddle of metal. My buddy Dale Schutte and I walked out on the runway at daylight to survey the damage. The sappers were still lying there with satchel charges attached to themselves. I was 22 years old and for much of the time I was in RVN it seemed like I was watching a movie, I often felt like I was apart from the whole thing just observing it happen. I can remember the nights when one chopper would fly low and fast down the length of the runway to draw fire and expose the VC positions and a second chopper aloft with no lights would concentrate fire when the VC fired. I was at Moc Hoa when they mortared the new messhall just days after it was completed. It has been a lot of years and I forget the names of the fellows I worked with. We made the rounds to all the bars downtown and we kept a room on top of one of the buildings downtown across from the MPs so we could stay in town all night. I can't believe that I trusted an old ARVN with a M-1 to cover my butt while I slept upstairs! We used to go to the Doll House Bar, The New York Bar and many others, I have bought a fair amont of tea and 33. We used to have blank travel orders so that we could move freely by what ever chopper or Air America plane was going our way. Lots of times I would be sitting on a chopper pad just waiting for anyone to come in so I could hitch a ride to the next detachment that needed a repair. When we got to a more controlled shipping area we would fill out the blank travel orders to get us where we had to go. The pictures you have on this site reveal that a lot of construction took place after I left. The main gate brings back memories. I was stranded down by Bein Thuy one night and hired a fellow on a Honda to take me home to CanTho late at night. We ran without a headlight and ran into a pig on the road. The Honda was wrecked, the driver injured, and I was scraped up and surrounded by dozens of locals, a water truck happened by, those guys scooped me up and took me back to the airfield, I don't know who they were but they saved my butt, so if your out there reading this THANKS!!!! I noticed one of the guys on this site asked about Valentine. I believe it was Valentine Sylvester, he and I were in Italy together, and when I reported for duty in CanTho we ran into each other again.

It's sad that I can't remember many names from way back then but I'd be glad to communicate with anyone about those old exciting, boring and dangerous days for all of us.

Last changed: May 13, 2001